Quick guide to understanding your dog.

Learn the language of your dog 

A dog communicates through body language. The most important signals are the calming signals They tell us, if a dog feels pressed, stressed, or uncomfortable. These signals include:

  • licking their mouths
  • a smacking sound
  • winking their eyes
  • turning the head to one side
  • pulling the ears back
  • wagging with the tail lowered

If you observe your dog giving any of these signals, consider what is going on in that moment and act accordingly.

For many dogs there is too much going on in their daily lives. A grown dog should sleep around 14 hours a day. A puppy needs about 16-18 hours of daily sleep!

Read more about puppies and exercise here!

Stimulating the body and mind

The stimulation of a dog will to be different according to its  race and age. It can therefore be hard to observe general rules here. Certain activities are, however, more stressful than beneficial.

When you throw something to fetch, it increases the pulse and stresses the dog.

Do not:

  • throw a stick
  • throw a ball
  • play any kind of wild tug of war games

Certain kinds of toys also stress the dog. Dogs have a hearing ability thats is up to 4,5 times what humans do; so a little “squeak” can be really loud for them.

Watch a movie about why fetching should be avoided!

Stop playing with squeaky toys or remove the part of the toy that makes the sound.

The sniffing walk

Always use a harness and a loose leash.

Collars apply unnecessary discomfort and can lead to damage in the neck and throat. The harness should allow the dog free movement in the shoulders and front leg.

This harness is sitting in a correct maner.

If your dog pulls on the leash the constant pressure from the collar will stress the dog even more, which worsens the situation. If you need to have a tight connection with your dog, a harness provides you with a safer grip.

The dog needs a loose leash for it to choose where it wants to sniff. Flex lines are not allowed. By using a flex line your dog feels a constant pressure from a tight leash and it feels restricted throughout the whole walk. Flex lines feel like steel wire and often cause damage to both dogs and humans.

The daily exercise has to be on the dog’s terms. We humans tend to rush and let the dog follow us. Slow down, walk slowly. Give your dog choices. Let it decide, where it wants to sniffle and for how long.

Some dogs are highly sensitive. Even smaller inputs can feel very disturbing. That’s why not all dogs thrive in an environment of much activity and noise.

Not all dogs are happy greeting other dogs.

Read more about meeting other dogs here!

Calm and relaxing activities

Relaxing activities are important for the well-being of your dog.

Intensive sniffling reduces the level of stress. The dog uses its nose; let it feel free to do that as much as possible.

Let your dog search for treats during the walk: throw a fistful of treats over a large area and let your dog calmly search for them. It lowers the pulse and feels good. Searching for treats can also be done at home and is a meaningful and calming way to end the walk.

Calm chewing on a bone or a “kong” is another relaxing and joyous activity for everyone!

Watch a movie about good activities to enjoy with your dog!

The dog’s space 

Give the dog the opportunity to withdraw when you are at home. When it rests, leave it alone and do not disturb it. Family and guests should respect that the dog is not up for endless cuddling and talking to, just because WE want to pet our dog. We also need to teach our children to respect the dog’s withdrawal and its need to be free from social contact.

Little tools for communicating

Our body language says more than a thousand words. If the dog does something you disapprove of, ignore the action and keep QUIET.

The behaviour we want we reward, the behaviour we disapprove of, we ignore.

Obtain a good connection with your dog with a simple tool: use a smacking sound. When the dog looks in your direction, reward it with a treat within three seconds. Right then you give the dog a treat, you reward the correct behaviour.

Learn the hand signal: turn the palm of your hand towards the dog. That is the signal for “it’s okay”. This signal can be used in many situations, when you wish to tell your dog not to worry:

  • When you pass people, dogs and things, that seem to upset it.
  • When the doorbell rings and the dog runs towards the door.
  • When the dog begs or tries to jump up and down.

“Get in the way”: If e.g. a situation of conflict is about to occur, physically move in between your dog and the challenge. Lead your dog away from the situation.

 

Walking in a curve / curving:   When dogs meet in nature, they walk in a curve toward each other.

If meeting other dogs is a challenge for your dog, practice to walk in a curve. You can also cross to the other side of the street.

If contact with other dogs should be practiced, walk in parallels. I.e. you and your dog walk in a parallel with another dog and human. Keep a good distance and practice moving closer gradually.

If you learn to implement these practices/habits in your daily lives, you are offering optimal conditions for your dog’s well-being.

Read the Danish version here!

Check list for your ’pet pharmacy’ at home

Most pet owners do once in a while experience that their animal gets unwell or hurt. Naturally you should ALWAYS see your veterinarian if you suspect illness.

Some things are good to have ready in your ‘pet pharmacy’. It is good to be prepared, in case the damage is done and you can take immediate action – preferably after consulting the veterinarian.

Check list for your ’pet pharmacy’ at home

  • Thermometer for checking your pet’s temperature. The temperature is taken in the pet’s behind
  • Cotton sock to e.g. protect a paw that has had a cut. Use sport tape to keep the sock in place
  • Salt water solution from the pharmacy to rinse eyes. The same kind that you would use for your own eyes
  • Ear rinse for cleaning the ears. Do a daily smell check of your pet’s ears. Do they smell – or are they dirty? Clean with ear rinse on a cotton pad or a soft gauze tampon
  • Mild soap to clean paws and scars
  • A cone to prevent the snout from coming in touch with the body. This way you can prevent your pet from worsening the injury. You can buy a so-called ‘swim ring’ or a funnel shaped plastic collar
  • Psyllium seed  can be bought in most supermarkets. A little ‘seed’ in the food can help your pet if it has a light diarrhoea
  • Frozen light fish, canned cod roe, and rice can provide your pet with a special diet in case of vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Special diet you can buy at the veterinarian’s office – as dry or wet food
  • Disposable syringe to spurt a little food mixed with water in your pet’s mouth, if it does not want to eat
  • Active coal if a poisoning is suspected
  • Zinc ointment for smaller cuts and irritated skin
  • Chlorhexidine wound cleansing for cleansing small wounds
  • Chlorhexidine powder for smaller cuts
  • Canned asparagus is given to the pet if it has swallowed a pointed object such as a bone or a shard of glass. The asparagus wraps itself around the object and helps it out through the alimentary canal
  • Bag put in the freezer can be used as a cold compress (skal der noget I posen?)
  • Tick remover to safely remove ticks from the animal
  • Small scissors with blunt ends for cutting fur safely
  • Prokolin/Zoolac/Diapaste can be bought over the counter and at the veterinarian’s office. A paste with lactic acid bacteria, which help overcoming stomach trouble
  • Fluid nutritious food you can buy at the veterinarian’s office, useful if your pet has a small appetite
  • Common sense when in doubt: bring your pet to the veterinarian. Common sense cannot be required online but is a result of real thoughts and objectivity. If you daily look and feel your animal you will know when it’s not well and if are not sure? Ask the vet, not google!

 

If you have one or more of these items at home, you are well prepared, if an accident occurs!

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Raising for Rada!

This is a joyous day despite a little sadness because Rada has left. She has gone to the most loving, best family that from now on will provide her with a good home.

This afternoon Rada was handed over after a long introduction to her physical needs and a talk about her nature.

The life on three legs calls for a lot of love, care, and a special attention to her needs.

Rada is a radiant light in sharp contrast to the dark shadows of the Russian shelter. She got out and has enriched everybody she has met in so many ways.

Taking her past into consideration she has more guts than most… I will definitely follow her closely in the future! I can say the same for Thomas Rathsack.

Rada will in the future be the symbol for the raising money for the shelter in Russia.

“Raising for Rada” will monthly support the shelter in Russia where Rada came from.

 

 

From Russia to Denmark!

Through the organisation “Fra snude til snude”, three-legged Rada has moved to Denmark!

“Snude til snude i a charity project, read more here!

We have raised money for a shelter in Russia. Through the shelter we have adopted a three-legged dog Rada to Denmark!

Monday January 15th 9 pm!

How does it feel to sleep on a soft blanket in a warm room for the first time, after having slept on the hard floor of a shed for years? 

What do you think when your food is served nicely diced in a bowl, when you used to eat old meat directly from the pot? 

What feelings flow through your body when loving strokes in endless amounts replace the fight for attention in the pack?

 Whether three-legged Rada has those kinds of thoughts, we have no idea.

 

Arrival in Denmark!

Hopefully she feels the care and love she was met with when she arrived in Denmark from the cold shelter in Russia late last night. Chelina came in, rolling Rada in her pet carrie. Chelina’s lovely family, Thomas and I stood there in exited anticipation.

 

The trip from Russia to Denmark is undeniably a stressful journey for a dog.

That is why it is so important that the first period in this new country is as calm as possible. The impressions as seen from the snout are overwhelming as it is.

To begin with she was stressed.

In the car home from the airport, Rada sat at the backseat – i.e. she sat in the lap of Lise as she would rather sit with her muzzle resting on a shoulder.

She had been barking from the moment she landed and that continued throughout the ride.

At the arrival at Artemis, she was let out at the parking lot. She lifted her head, and then she wanted to go for a little walk.

On three legs!

Rada I challenged by her lack of one foreleg, which complicates her sniffing. In that way she is different from most dogs. Her leg was wounded in an accident and got amputated below her shoulder.

In the beginning we therefore decided to spare her from dealing with stairs.

It was the plan that she should have a thorough check-up by the veterinarian, when she arrived in Denmark. We need to know her psyche and overall state of health to provide her with the optimal settings for her to have a good life.

Rada stayed at Artemis for the night. She should not be moved more than necessary.

After a short walk we returned to the clinic where a bed was made for Rada.

She was shown the soft blankets, and when Thomas Rathsack sat down with her, she finally relaxed. She slept right there all through the night. She had to do without Thomas as I took over the watch.

 

That’s how Rada and I spend the night in the consulting room. Snout to snout.

She definitely slept more than me. More than once I stroked her to make sure she didn’t feel lonely or sad!

 

What’s next?

Today we have run a series of tests on her. She takes some short walks and relaxes in between.

Rada’s stress and alertness needs to be removed. Up till now it has worked well.

The right home for Rada is one with an endless, loving warmth. And there are the challenges with her motor skills to take into consideration.

A dog can live a fulfilling life on three legs, but it needs the family to pay attention to its special needs.

To adopt dogs from abroad is not just a simple matter.

Rada is one of many dogs from the Russian shelter, Rada has had  the chance of a new life.

It makes a difference to help one dog – also even though you cannot save them all!

Our donation has created a local awareness.

Chelina has been on local TV, which has put focus on the shelter, and now more people have adopted dogs and cats.

Respect for life!

Rada is – apart form being a lovely dog – also a symbol for the fact that it makes a difference when we help. The respect for life, no matter the circumstances and challenges, is important. The respect also entails choosing the alternative, when that is the best for the animal.

Seen from the outside some people may think “Three legs? Is that a life worth living?”

YES, it is. If you pay attention and provide the proper care, life on three legs isn’t bad at all.

To put it bluntly – for the perspective: A lot of dogs suffer from severe osteoarthritis – sometimes in only one leg. It can end up being so debilitating that the dog puts all weight on the other leg to ease the pain.

Just as when you only have one leg, your body needs to compensate for the balance that is no longer working. These dogs live good lives, provided with proper care – until the day life no longer is a good life for the dog.

Rada’s handicap is obvious. A lot of dogs suffer from conditions not apparently visible for us.

No matter what happens, what is best for Rada is what sets the course.

We don’t yet know exactly what the coordinates are, but we are on our way to find them.

Tonight Thomas watches over Rada. Or is it the other way round? In any way she could not be in better hands.

When Tuesday arrives we will see what the day brings. Until then we just need Rada to feel good and get used to her new life.

Everyone surrounding Rada is again reminded that a dog is not “just a dog”, but just about the most trusting and life affirming presence, you will meet.

Raising for charity for pets all over the world!

 From one pet to another!

Follow our Facebook page “Fra snude til snude” meaning “from one pet to another”.  The page will show our activities in relations to collecting items, which will be donated to animals in need worldwide. The page will to act as a place for coordinating events that collect money for specific projects!

Find the site here!

Help us help others

Pet owners in Denmark love their animals. They shall not want for anything. That’s why it is quite common that we have collected a lot of “equipment” during the life of our pets. That “equipment” may at some point no longer be of use to us. Our pets outgrow their harnesses, they do no longer play with certain toys, they get new dog baskets etc. The “old” items are not in use anymore.

These items may be in perfect order but we are used to throwing away things we no longer need. “Snout To Snout” wishes to change that approach and put them to good use, so that animals all over the world can benefit from them.

When we say goodbye!

A different scenario unfolds the day we say goodbye to a beloved pet.

Often there will be bowls, harnesses, leashes, toys and more left over from a long life. Throwing these items away seems wrong, as they represent fond memories. Some items can be saved, of course, but in many cases it is nice to start afresh.

Project “fra snude til snude” helps passing on used items. We continuously support hot spots, such as animal shelters in Denmark and abroad, and we give donations to projects that need help. We cannot always know, when that happens.

Where can I leave my things?

We are collecting for projects supporting animals in need, so they can benefit from what surplus we have. We are collecting at Dyreklinikken Artemis, Gersonsvej 2, 2900 Hellerup, and at Fuglebjergvej 9, 3400 Hillerød.

Do you want to help?

Please get in touch through the facebook page, if you would like to be a pick-up point.

Do you have a project in need of help?

If you have an association or a project that needs help, send us a message and you will be put on our list of projects. Our opportunity to help depends on how many donations we are in possession of. “From one pet to anothert” is a continuous event.

Who is behind the project?

Veterinarian Lise Rovsing runs the project with the support from former Special Forces Soldier Thomas Rathsack. Through our network we wish to put focus on helping animals in need by utilising existing resources.

“From one pet to another” has already helped:

  • We have shipped donations to an animal shelter In Rumania
  • We have shipped a huge donation to help homeless dogs
  • In December 2017 we have send money to buy forage for a shelter in remote Russia

A puppy shouldn’t be worn out!

By veterinarian Lise Rovsing & Hanne Truelsen from Snudekompagniet!

Are you the happy owner of a new puppy, there are a lot of things to look forward too.

One of the greatest pleasures of owning a dog is the walks that you will experience together. However, it will take a while before this becomes a part of everyday life.

The puppy takes over the house with its energy which will test your patience. This might lead you to think that the puppy needs to be worn out physically and what better way to do this than to take the puppy for a nice long walk?

STOP – a puppy should NOT be taken on long walks or be worn out.

A puppy needs a lot less exercise than you might think. The puppy only needs to go out for short walk to relieve itself.

When the puppy arrives at its new home it is usually between 8-10 weeks old. However the most optimal time to move the puppy from its familiar surroundings is actually when the puppy is between 9-11/12 weeks old!

How much exercise does a puppy need?

During the first month of bringing the puppy home, it only needs to go out for 10-15 minutes a day.

As part of the housebreaking it is natural that the puppy needs to go out many times during the day, which is fine, but it shouldn’t be taken out for walks. The puppy only needs to go out to relief itself and the sniff around in its new surroundings.

A puppy will relieve itself where it feels safe, which is why puppies often relieve themselves inside the house or in the garden. This is also one of the reasons why the puppy shouldn’t be taken for long walks, as it will not relieve itself if you just walk around in different places.

When the puppy is approximately 4 months old you can increase the walks with 5 minutes, which will add up to 20 minutes a day. At 5 months you can increase the walks with another 5 minutes and so on, until you reach 30 minutes a day. A puppy should not walk more than 30 minutes a day until it is fully grown. When a puppy is fully grown depends on the breed.

Let your puppy sniff!

When you take your pup out for a walk it should be on its terms. It’s very important that the dog gets to sniff around as much as needed. This means that you should make as many stops as the dog requires and wait for the dog to finish sniffing.

A puppy shouldn’t be worn out by too much exercise. Too much exercise can make a puppy stressed.

Stress has a lot of consequences for the puppy and can show itself in many disguises.

Typically the puppy will be unfocussed and have trouble relaxing and resting, it will pee excessively, it will hump object, which has nothing to do with its sexuality and it will drink a lot. The puppy will also take longer to learn to be alone at home as well as it will take longer to be housebroken.

If you have a garden, it is easy to let the puppy out several times during the day. Have in mind that even a small trip to the garden, is a major input for the puppy’s brain to process.

Small experiences make a BIG impression!

From a puppy’s point of view, a small experience makes a huge impression, a lot more than you might think!

A puppy should only be exposed to new experiences every three to six days, which ensures the most optimal development of the puppy’s psyche.

Slow down!

Making an effort and giving the puppy time to a just, will give you the best result for a harmonious healthy dog.

We as humans can also benefit from slowing down. If you want to do what’s best for the new family member it’s important to calm household and give the puppy time to a just.

 

Is your pet suffering from allergies?

 Think holistic and help them to a better life!

 Many pets suffer from allergies. Get an overview on what you can do for your animal, if they battle with allergy! 

What is allergy?

Allergy is the body’s immune system response to substances (allergens) that are generally harmless.

The animal must have been exposed to an allergen a certain number of times before symptoms appear. Many pets are allergic to things they breathe in through the air. Animals typically, react to different pollen and house dust.

What are the symptoms of allergy?

Symptoms of allergy may occur in many disguises: itching, recurrent ear problems and repeated skin infections.

The veterinarian can do a blood sample to be examined for substances your animal may be allergic to (allergy test). Your veterinarian will be able to guide you, on which treatment needs to be initiated.

How do you treat allergies?

It might be necessary to give medication to an animal with allergies. Medication is a symptomatic treatment. It can give a “relieve” here and now – but of course does not cure the cause of the problem!

Allergy might not be completely cured. There is however a lot you can do, to help your animal to a better life.

You can have your pet vaccinated against the (substances/allergens) which is the cause of the allergy (hyposensibilisation) and build up the animal’s tolerance to allergens, which in the long run makes life more tolerable.

Keep in mind – it is NOT a “quick-fix solution”.

Battling on several fronts!

There are many things you can do to strengthen your pets immune system.

Think holistic and see the big picture: the better the immune system works and the healthier the skin is, the stronger we stand in the fight against allergy.

The body can be strengthened both inside and out.

Give the animals a dietary supplement with essential fatty acids. Over 80% of all animals with allergies will benefit from getting an extra supply of essential fatty acids.

You can get food fatty acids added, but it’s also available as a supplement to the food.

There are some new supplements that contain biotin, fatty acids and a substance called PEA. The latter can be freely described as a natural antihistamine which also helps reduce the symptoms of allergy.

Do you have a pet that can’t tolerate house dust and or pollen?

Some dogs benefit from having a bath, but not all animals enjoy the water and soap. There is an alternative to a bath!

Take a damp towel and wipe it over the animal – both on the body, head, legs and paws. This way you remove dust and pollen from the fur that can cause irritation. Think about how a car looks on summer day when there’s pollen in the air!

Use a spray to strengthen the skin. Many shampoos and conditioners are made especially to the coat! Remember when we battle allergy we need to focus on the skin.

Talk to your vet about which spray is the right choice for your animal.

Some animals benefit from a very simple solution: take a little almond or argon oil in your hand and gentle rub it into the skin.

Remember to keep your home clean; dog baskets, blankets etc. collect a lot of dust and must therefore be washed regularly. Wash your fabrics once a week at 60 degrees.

Change the bedding frequently and air out the bedroom. If your pet sleeps in the bed, give it a thorough cleaning!

Does your dog frequently ride along in the car? Cars collect huge amounts of dirt and also need to be cleaned – alternatively place a blanket where the dog lies in the car. The blanket is easy to take out of the car and wash!

A steam cleaner is a great tool for your daily cleaning of the home and the car!

Want to go a step further in battling allergies? You can purchase an air purifier for the home that cleans the air from pollen.

If you have a pet suffering with symptoms of allergy, you can try to changing its feed. There are many different allergy diets, each with their own focus area. Consult your vet in choosing the right feed for your pet.

The new feed must be administered for at least 2 months before assessing whether the animal has fewer signs of allergy.

Think holistic!

Good health is connected to both the mind and body.

How is your everyday life with your pet?

If your pet is living a “stressed” life, you might find it beneficially to look at the animal’s psyche.

Stress affects the health of the animal. The word “stress” can cover many things however the effect of stress is the same regardless of the reason.

If your animal is stressed, the body will store stress hormones (cortisol) that destroys the immune system and has a lot of devastating effects on the body – it will make the animal more prone to all diseases and is a predisposing factor for allergies!

If in doubt concerning your pets’ daily wellbeing please contact one of the country’s many skilled dog trainers.

The trainer will be able to help you read your dog’s language and signals, and thereby increase the animal’s wellbeing.

The more balanced your pet is, the better the body will provide for them and make them healthier in every way!

You can also begin the studies about the language of animals on your own.

It’s our responsibility to learn the language of animals. This way we can make the necessary changes in their lives that will benefit their health!

Allergy is a complex diagnosis. If we consider all aspects, there is a lot we can do to help our animals live a better and healthier life.